NWS Holdings has signed an agreement with a subsidiary of China's Ministry of Railways, China Railway Container Transport Corp. and other joint-venture partners to set up a new enterprise, China United International Rail Containers Co.
The 50-year joint venture will develop and manage major rail container terminals in 18 cities in mainland China. This is the Ministry's first large-scale Sino-foreign joint venture, which will adopt a new operating mode of rail container transportation in mainland China, NWS said.
The company, based in Hong Kong, is the infrastructure and service division of New World Development Co.
Under the joint-venture agreement, the estimated total investment of the project is 12 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion). NWS Holdings will hold a 22-percent stake. Other shareholders include a subsidiary of the Ministry of Railways, China Railway Container Transport Corp., 58 percent; China International Marine Containers (Group) Co., 10 percent; and Promisky Investment, 10 percent.
The joint venture will develop and operate one-stop, door-to-door logistics services, including container trucking, international freight forwarding, intermodal transportation, and contracting of container block train service. The project would provide a rail transportation network at 18 major coastal and inland cities in mainland China to meet the anticipated international and domestic trade growth and freight movements.
The terminals will be developed in two phases:
-- Phase 1 consists of 11 terminals - Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Xian, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Dalian, Harbin and Tianjin. The Shanghai terminal is nearly completed and Kunming terminal is under construction.
-- The remaining seven terminals in Phase 2 are Zhengzhou, Lanzhou, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Urumqi, Beijing and Ningbo.
All are scheduled for completion by 2010.
Current annual containerized rail cargo volume on China's mainland is about 3 million TEUs, or three percent of all rail freight.
The Ministry of Railways estimated that containerized rail cargo will reach 10 million TEUs in 2010, or about six percent of the total rail freight.